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Thread: WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine

    WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine ?

    As far as System Requirements go, they are the same for WIN 8 and WIN 8.1

    Windows 8.1 Installation DVD loads for some time, no crcle of dots, then PC reboots
    with quick flash of six lines or so of white text (on black backgound) @ 106 seconds
    Needed to use Smart Phone video camera to capture

    Your PC needs to restart.
    Please hold down the power button ...
    Error Code:0x000000C4
    0x000... F

    Presumably message is intended for frozen PC, hence 'hold down power button'
    In this case it flashes and re-boots

    Windows 8.1 Image loads quickly, flash and reboots PC, having corrupted boot entry
    (thankfully not other entries in Boot Manager situated on Dell System Reserved Partition)

    PC Desktops affected:

    Dimension 5000 - shipped JAN'05
    RAM 4GB
    Intel Pentium 4 640 3.20Ghz 64bit NX enabled
    ATI Radeon HD 6450

    Dimension 5150c/XPS 200 -shipped MAR'05
    RAM 3GB
    Intel Pentium D 820 2.80Ghz 64bit NX enabled
    Intel 82945G WDDM 1.0

    Both the above PC's Install and run Windows 8 without a hiccup

    Another 'ancient' machine, but unaffected:

    Precision 490 Desktop - shipped OCT'07
    RAM 4GB
    Intel 80286 / iAPX 286 (only kidding!)
    2 x Intel XEON 5365 3.0Ghz
    ATI HD 6450 (Now HD 7750)

    All 8.0 & 8.1 clean Installs and Upgrades on this platform had no problems

    Hope some of you can throw some light on this. What does WIN 8.1 do in the boot
    process that WIN 8 does not?
    And if anybody has encounterd this before...

    Note to multi booters - keep or reinstall Dell or other System Reserved partition (PRI,Active)
    EasyBCD/Windows Boot Manager held on this partition (eg. 350MB)
    If it gets corrupted, you can Restore it, rather than Gigabytes of 1st Primary O/S
    Also, it will solve a lot of problems, when manipulating/adding/backing up/restoring O/S's

    That's it, happy computing...
    Last edited by zirc99; 08-13-2014 at 08:17 AM. Reason: correction

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine

    Helpful response in already:

    Thanks for pointing me in the right direction. Running upgrade assistant (going to Store rejects CPU, but no details)

    Results in:

    X You can't install Windows 8.1 because your processor doesn't support LAHF/SAHF.
    X You can't install Windows 8.1 because your processor doesn't support PrefetchW.

    There are at least three Processor requirements that M'soft does not list for WIN 8.1
    and it's fairly well documented, if you ask the right question, eg.:

    New Windows 8.1 requirements strand some users on Windows 8 | PCWorld

    So that's it, exclusion by 'stealth' - at least M'soft told you that processor required NX - Execute Disable Bit for Windows 8

    For Intel units, look out for 'VT-x. Have a processor on the way, but will Motherboard pass CMPXCHG16b test?

    Windows 8 support ends 2015, that means people who bought it will have had 2 years use
    WIN 8.1 Upgrade/Update (sic) is free, but costly if it won't run on your machine

    So, those many people who decried Windows 8 and stuck to WIN 7, were right after all
    Early supporters of WIN 8, have been 'betrayed'

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine

    Answering own Post... Why not?

    Problem **RESOLVED** for Dimension 5150c/XPS200, for this PC anyway...

    Solution: Intel Processor with VT-x (Pentium D 940 3.20Ghz
    Step 1. - Fit processor (Thermal Compound - Arctic Silver 5)
    Step 2. - BIOS (A07) Enable - Virtualization Technology
    - Enhanced SpeedStep Technology (while you're at it)
    Result: - WIN 8.1 DVD loads
    - WIN 8.1 BackUp Image (of another PC) boots
    Devices are made ready...
    Only adjustment necessary - Update Display driver in Device Manager

    Fitted Refurbished FAN [7.99 inc p.p.) and hey presto, a fast quiet PC with a small
    footprint (Runs hot - air thro' heatsink goes right over HDD, hence it clocks 52'C-53'C

    Hard Disk - WD10EALX 1TB Read 131 MB/s Write 127 MBs (Crystal DiskMark)
    The Dell specs don't specify SATA I or II (500MB/s for PCIe x1 could be a clue)
    but as the performance is same as on PC with SATA II (3 Gbit/s)
    This OP is happy

  4. #4
    parsec's Avatar
    parsec is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    Third stone from the sun

    Default Re: WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine

    So it looks like an obscure instruction that is not supported by some earlier platforms, or those platforms without a BIOS update (sounds like an excuse, but might be true) have this problem with Win 8.1.

    Since this is a very low level detail, but high on the technical level, expecting mainstream support personnel at MS and elsewhere to understand it (as well as explain and deal with it), even if they have the information available, is unlikely to happen.

    Technology moves forward, and at some point the old will be left behind. If it doesn't happen naturally (public discarding old tech) the manufactures will eventually push things along. Personally, I can't blame them in most cases.

    From the start Windows 8, and some of it contemporary hardware, is a transition point in the PC world IMO. The lack of some third party drivers was one clue, as well as some of the new third party drivers that support Win 8 were not compatible with the manufacture's (Intel) own earlier hardware.

    MS did not provide the same type of compatibility checks for hardware that they did with Win 7, when Win 8 was being introduced. MS even had a forum like "database" where users of Win 8 previews could document what hardware worked or did not work with it.

    So what is the best way for the source (or is that target?) of incompatibilities (as inevitable as they are) to announce them, with a bang or a whimper? "Best" from a general PR, or even political perspective for the perceived source? The answer is in what is happening now, not much and rather quietly.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2012

    Default Re: WINDOWS 8.1 won't install/load on PC where WIN 8 runs Fine

    @ Parsec (Cool Moniker)

    Thanks for your considered response, but you may not have read the reply before yours...

    In the case of Dimension 5150c/XPS200 - BIOS A07 1-16-2007
    Just needed Processor with VT-x

    You may be right in regard to Dimension 5000 - BIOS A07 12-7-2005

    However, as options under Performance in the Bios only appear if processor has those
    Advanced Technologies on board, the only way to find out is to insert a processor with VT-x
    Intel Pentium 4 662 and 672 are two such processors valid for this model

    Here's one prepared earlier (on MS site):
    [In essence, M'soft buried (16th line) under Additional Requirements for 64-bit systems to comply
    How many 32-bit PC's would be upgrading to WIN 8.1 ?
    System Requirements has (4 lines)
    Why not have a 5th line regarding 64-bit requirements - obfuscation at the very least, this world is complicated as it is]

    Here's the t'upenny's worth:
    The two PC's in question are unable to Install/Run Windows 8.1 (Should have been called WIN 9)
    because of their processors: Intel Pentium 4 640, Pentium D 820, respectively, for lack of VT-x
    Hoping that Pentium D 940 (with VT-x) will rescue one of the machines from exclusion of WIN 8.1
    club and whatever other pre-conditions Microsoft introduce stealthily on their next Release/Update

    This article says it all:
    New Windows 8.1 requirements strand some users on Windows 8 | PCWorld

    To answer your points:
    1. System Requirements don't state/warn of lack of PrefetchW AND LAHF/SAHF
    But Upgrade Assistant does...
    2. Install DVD never gets to Windows Set Up screen
    3. Not an option - Windows Store returns "Sorry, you can't install the update because it isn't
    supported by your computer's CPU" More link, indeed, reveals:

    System Requirements (4 lines) and Additional Requirements to use certain features (17 lines)
    'buried' in line 16:
    "To install a 64-bit O/S on a 64-bit PC, your processor needs to support CMPXCHG16b, PrefetchW
    and LAHF/SAHF"

    Talk about burying bad news (UK thing). MICROSOFT This is STRUCTURAL and should have
    appeared in System Requirements (line 5) never mind the b******s and small print
    If one has a 64-bit PC - there is no option to download 32-bit version for WIN 8/8.1 iso
    No, M'soft are excluding a whole raft of 64-bit processors and Intel can't be unhappy about it

    Slash and Burn Culture

    Dump your fine working Technology? You may have the latest bells and whistles, addicted to the
    'cutting edge' but there is a world out there, some kids in India, Africa or China working on a
    'recycled' cast off PC who are part of the next generation of IT specialists and engineers

    Message to Microsoft - "What ever you do, do it up front, we all value our time and investment"

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